Hand Sanitizer vs Soap and Water: Which Is Better?


When it comes to personal hygiene, one can never be too resolute about it. In the midst of a global pandemic, we have been reminded ad nauseum about how necessary cleanliness is. This isn’t without good reason either. In order to starve off potential diseases, we all need to maintain a sense of good hygiene.

Two of the main tools we have to ward off infectious threats are well known at this rate. There is the classic method of washing your hands with soap. Then, there is the alternative of using hand sanitizer. Sometimes, however, we have trouble deciding which to use between hand sanitizer vs soap and water.

The following analysis will compare between the pros and cons of hand sanitizer vs soap and water. Please note that each method carries its own set of benefits, and both should be used accordingly!

Portability: Hand sanitizer is more portable.

When we’re talking about hand sanitizer vs soap, portability is a key factor. You’ve seen them everywhere. Whether they be in your backpack, purse, or attached via a keychain, hand sanitizers are universal. The ability to have a disinfectant product anywhere you go is an astounding achievement. That is why many people advocate for the use of hand sanitizers; their portability is second-to-none.

When handwashing is unavailable, hand sanitizers prove to be just as effective. There will always be a myriad of questionable surfaces that we touch throughout our day. Being able to immediately disinfect our hands through a sanitizer takes care of that issue outright. Price isn’t an issue either; most hand sanitizers are cheaper than a candy bar!

Accessibility: Hand sanitizers are readily available.

Even if you don’t readily carry hand sanitizer with you, most communities have that problem solved. In light of the storm that is the global pandemic, many modern-day buildings and institutions have implemented sanitizing stations. This helps tenfold; the ability to walk into your destination and sanitize your hands immediately is truly beneficial. Many businesses also buy bulk hand sanitizers, so they have a large inventory of stock to distribute among their employees.

Normally, hand sanitizing stations were mostly reserved for public washrooms only. Now that they have become much more widespread, hand sanitizer is accessible to virtually anyone. When you return that one book to your library, be sure to rub your hands with some before leaving!

Effectiveness: Both hand sanitizers & washing hands kill viruses.

The main selling point of hand sanitizers is that they can kill virtually all traces of a virus. That is pretty much the only selling point it requires, however. Hand sanitizers work by destroying microbes that may reside on your hands. These microbes are known for being the source of most viral contaminants.

As long as the hand sanitizer contains the required isopropyl alcohol content, it will work as intended. These products have been tested thoroughly, in order to work successfully during an application. When in doubt, always place a decent amount into your hands, and rub methodically!

Hygiene: Washing your hands is better at keeping your hands clean.

When it comes to keeping your hands thoroughly clean, soap and water will always be your best bet. The technique has been around for ages, and no method has yet to supersede it. As long as you rub your hands under warm water for a minimum of twenty seconds, you are in good shape.

In addition, a majority of public health agencies stand by handwashing as the best method for combatting viruses. When you use soap and warm water, virtually all traces of contaminants are removed. This will also work for when your hands are not visibly affected by an infectious substance.

Variety: There are many types of soaps available.

There are a plethora of soap variations on the market. You may initially be confused as to which one to use in your day-to-day life. For example, antibacterial soap has been found to be just as popular as regular soap. Rest assured, however; all types of soap get the job done.

Recent studies have shown that antibacterial soap has not been found to be superior to regular soap just yet. So, if you are having difficulties when picking a type, put those qualms to rest. As long as you use warm water while washing your hands, soap will eliminate all infectious matter on your hands.

Final Verdict: Use a combination of hand sanitizer and soap.

A large majority of us will usually rely on one method over the other in most situations. However, in order to truly give yourself maximized protection, use a combination of the two. Wash your hands for twenty seconds, and then rub a small amount of sanitizer onto your palms.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other, when it comes to keeping your hands clean. By fully maximizing the effectiveness of both methods, you protect yourself in a more viable manner. The main takeaway here is consistency and correct application. When in doubt, always be sure to wash your hands and apply some sanitizer afterwards.

Fighting off potential infectious diseases is a never-ending battle. We’ve seen just how deadly recklessness can be, when proper hygiene techniques are not adequately followed. However, the methods to employ are not complicated in the least bit. Use both soap and hand sanitizer, in order to truly protect yourself and others from harmful viruses!